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4 Reasons Why Startups Should Use Payment Processing Firms

4 Reasons Why Startups Should Use Payment Processing Firms

If you are in the midst of planning a new business, or have just launched your first startup, there are many important decisions to make and strategies to put in place. One of those that often gets left to the last minute but that is very vital, is how to make it easy for customer to pay you using their preferred method.

You can grow your business more quickly if you utilize a quality merchant services firm from the very start. Read on for some reasons why you should find a payment processing firm today, plus some questions to ask providers when comparing options.

1. More Sales

If you want to increase the number of sales you make every day, signing up with a merchant services provider can help you to do so. It is very important to most consumers these days that they have a variety of payment choices at the checkout, so it is a must to enhance your small-business payment capabilities.

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You should make it simple for customers to pay by options such as credit and debit cards, PayPal balances, checks, and other online and over-the-phone methods. A payment processing provider can make it quick, simple and secure to do so, all for an affordable price.

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    In addition, keep in mind that consumers typically always spend more money, and make purchases more often, when they can use credit cards rather than cash. In fact, some reports show that customers will even spend up to 100 percent more with their card than they will with cash.

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    As a result, the reality is that, if you’re not accepting non-cash payments in this day and age, you will miss out on the potential to attract many more new customers, as well as lots of repeat business.

    2. Secure Online Transactions

    Another top benefit of using a payment processing firm for your small business is that doing so enables you to increase the security of transactions. With so many people now using the internet (and particularly mobile devices) to browse, buy, pay bills, and manage their accounts online, it’s important for businesses to ensure that such transactions are secure every time.

    By using a merchant services firm, you enable payments to be transacted through third parties, rather than through your own staff; as well, customer information is never kept on-site. This lessens the risk (and the cost) of fraud, as well as the chances of identity theft, data breaches, and bounced checks. Online transactions also reduce, or completely eliminate, the amount of cash your business holds on site. Additionally, this then makes your firm less of a hold-up target.

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    3. Build Customer Trust

    Startups always have to work hard, as a quickly as they can, to build a customer base when they’re brand new. Something that can have quite a dramatic effect on the size of this customer base is how much trust consumers put in your new organization. You can help to build more trust with clients if you accept online payments through a trusted merchant services provider.

    Doing so legitimizes your business since consumers feel more comfortable about parting with their funds when they can see that the transaction is organized by a reputable third party, and that their information is not kept on file.

    4. Better Management of Funds

    Cashflow is another area of business that is very important to startup ventures. Making use of a payment processing provider can help you to manage your money better in a number of ways. For example, payments are handled electronically for you, which removes the need for you to spend time counting cash and then trying to find a chance to bank it.

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    Merchant services firms generally always automatically create reports on all sales too, which allows you to track your cashflow and progress better. In addition, payment providers process and deposit funds into your bank account within a short space of time, which gives you access to funds more quickly.

    Questions to Ask Payment Processing Providers

    There are a few key questions you should ask firms before signing on the dotted line. For starters, it is important to find out about the security provided by a merchant services company. Ask the businesses on your shortlist to tell you about the security precautions they take, and look for firms which have CVV2 verification in place, as well as complex encryption algorithms, extensive data encryption, and acceptance of the highest-level SSL certificates.

    It also pays to ask companies about what level of customer support they provide. You want to be able to contact a merchant services firm if you have any issues at any time, so only sign up with a company that offers 24/7 service. It is preferable for this to be through multiple communication methods, such as by phone, email, and live chat.

    When comparing providers, make sure you also ask them if they have any potential hidden fees, such as cancellation costs or charges for incorporating their system into yours. And ask to see some testimonials or reviews they have received from past clients over the years. If they have won awards it is also worthwhile checking these out for further peace of mind.

    Featured photo credit: shutterstock.com via shutterstock.com

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    Last Updated on February 15, 2019

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

    Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

    Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

    So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

    Joe’s Goals

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      Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

      Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

      Daytum

        Daytum

        is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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        Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

        Excel or Numbers

          If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

          What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

          Evernote

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            I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

            Evernote is free with a premium version available.

            Access or Bento

              If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

              Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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              You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

              Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

              All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

              Conclusion

              I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

              What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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